1754: RITE OF PERFECTION (JESUITS' CLERMONT COLLEGE, PARIS), SCOTTISH JUDGES (MARTINEZ AT MONTPELLIER) & STRICT OBSERVANCE RITE (BARON HUND, GERMANY) – JUST A COINCIDENCE!
1754: RITE OF PERFECTION (JESUITS’ CLERMONT COLLEGE, PARIS), SCOTTISH JUDGES (MARTINEZ AT MONTPELLIER) & STRICT OBSERVANCE RITE (BARON HUND, GERMANY) – JUST A COINCIDENCE!
PERFECTION, RITE OF
In 1754, the Chevalier de Bonneville established a Chapter of the advanced Degrees at Paris, in the College of Jesuits of Clermont, hence called the Chapter of Clermont. The system of Freemasonry he there practiced received the name of the Rite of Perfection, or Rite of Heredom. The College of Clermont was, says Rebold (History of Three Grand Lodges, page 46) the asylum of the adherents of the House of Stuart, and hence the Rite is to some extent tinctured with Stuart Freemasonry It consisted of twenty-five Degrees as follows:
2. Fellow Craft
4. Secret Master
5. Perfect Master
6. Intimate Secretary
7. Intendant of the Building
8. Provost and Judge
9. Elect of Nine
10. Elect of Fifteen
11. Illustrious Elect, Chief of the Twelve Tribes
12. Grand Master Architect
13- Royal Arch
14. Grand, Elect, Ancient, Perfect Master
15. Knight of the Sword
16. Prince of Jerusalem
17. Knight of the East and West
18. Rose Croix Knight
19. Grand Pontiff
20. Grand Patriarch
21. Grand Master of the Key of Freemasonry
22. Prince of Libanus
23. Sovereign Prince Adept Chief of the Grand Consistory
24. Illustrious Knight Commander of the Black and White Eagle
25. Most Illustrious Sovereign Prince of Freemasonry, Grand Knight, Sublime Commander of the Royal Secret.
It will be seen that the Degrees of this Rite are the same as those of the Council of Emperors of the East and West, which was established four years later, and to which the Chapter of Clermont gave way. Of course, they are the same, so far as they go, as those of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite which succeeded the Council of Emperors. The distinguishing principle of this Rite is, that Freemasonry was derived from Templarism, and that consequently every Freemason was a Knight Templar. It was there that the Baron von Hund was initiated, and from it, through him, proceeded the Rite of Strict Observance; although he discarded the Degrees and retained only the Templar theory.
In 1754, Martines de Pasqually, a man said to have travelled the east in search of wisdom (the Rosenkreuz archetype) set up an order called the Scottish Judges in Montpellier. Six years later, in Bordeaux, he established the Cabala-influenced Order of Elect Cohens, of which Order Pasqually was Grand Sovereign.
The Elect Cohens practised a form of ceremonial magic: a combination of the Catholic Mass with the works of Renaissance occultists such as Henry Cornelius Agrippa. Pasqually claimed to be in contact with unearthly beings.
He held an animist conception of the universe, a universe pulsating with life on many planes or in ulterior dimensions to those experienced by human beings ordinarily. His ceremonies were regulated by astrological considerations.
According to Pasqually, “The bodies of the universe are all vital organs of eternal life.” The Moon and the Sun figured prominently in his system. Equinoxes were chosen as propitious times for important rituals, to encourage good spirits.
There was a daily invocation wherein the Elect Cohen would trace a circle on the floor, at the centre of which was inscribed the letter ‘W’ below a candle. The Cohen then stood in the circle and, holding a light to read the invocation, would begin: “O Kadoz, O Kadoz, who will enable one to become as I was originally when a spark of divine creation? Who will enable me to return in virtue and eternal spiritual power?”
The purpose of the invocations and evocations was ultimately to open communication with what Pasqually described as the “Active and Intelligent Cause”.
In 1772, Pasqually sailed to Santo Domingo in the Caribbean, leaving the Assemblée in the hands of his followers Bacon and Jean-Baptiste Willermoz. Pasqually never returned, dying in Port-au-Prince in 1774.
Bacon then joined the Grand Orient, a mainstream French masonic order (founded in 1772), while Willermoz (1730-1824) not only joined the Strict Observance Rite (founded in 1754 by Baron Hund) but also founded several influential orders of his own: the high-degree masonic order of Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Cité Sainte, also known as the Rite Écossais Rectifié and also the Chevaliers de l’Aîgle Noir et Rose-Croix, a rite containing strong alchemical and neo-Rosicrucian themes.
According to Jackson, it was possibly in the year 1765 that Willermoz completed a Rose-Croix ritual which apparently forms the basis of that practised today as the 18th degree of the Ancient & Accepted Rite. It would have been helpful if a copy of Willermoz’s ritual appeared in the book next to that currently practised (though there are international variations), but that would be too much to expect from a member of an order sworn to secrecy. And here lies one of the problems of the book. …
For more research on the ties between outright Occultism & the covertly occultic Roman Catholic Church (e.g. the Spanish Catholic – not Portuguese Jew as has been alleged – Martinez de Pasqually‘s Masonic Elect Cohens & Augustinian Friars in Paris, 1765 – also note Pasqually’s Charles Stuart Masonic patent, inherited from his father), see:
(Note: Martinez de Pasqually was the teacher of Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, founder of what became known as Martinism)
For more on the Rite of Strict Observance’s establishment in Germany in 1754 see:
(P. 246 of Raffaella Faggionato’s “A Rosicrucian Utopia in Eighteenth-century Russia”)
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